Unsullied in the snow at Magheramorne & New Northern character cast for Season 8!

703 - Casterly Rock - Grey Worm 3

Yesterday’s filming and casting report continues today as a new character is cast and season eight filming at Magheramorne ramps up with the appearance of the Unsullied. For the first time in Game of Thrones, we get to see the Targaryen army in the snow!

First: casting news! A young man by the name of Frank Blake has been cast as a Northern sentry in season eight. We first learned of this particular role back in September of last year. Though it’s a small part, he’ll interact with some of the main cast. Or, rather, he already has: Brown shot his scenes all the way back in December.

Curtis Brown Frank Blake Northern Sentry Cast Season 8

Meanwhile, in the second night of shooting at Magheramorne Quarry, the giant new green screen set was populated by a great number of cast and crew. While it’s possible the main cast was involved, the only truly recognizable figures in the photos provided by Davy Orr and Oakleaf Photography were the Unsullied, with their armor and weapons:

The best look at the mantle of snow on the green screen set. Photo: Oakleaf Photography

Notice the trebuchets outside the mantle of snow, behind the crane! Photo: Oakleaf Photography

The set in full filming mode. Photo: Oakleaf Photography

The set in full filming mode. Photo: Oakleaf Photography

Zoom-in on the Unsullied. Photo: Oakleaf Photography

Zoom-in on the Unsullied. Photo: Oakleaf Photography

You can see the Unsullied to the right, and unknown props to the left. Photo: Davy Orr

You can see the Unsullied to the right, and unknown props in the center. Photo: Davy Orr

My best guess is that they’re filming segments of the big Winterfell action sequence. This separate environment may offer more of a controlled environment in which to shoot difficult stunts. Or perhaps this is part of yet another ranging beyond the Wall, but I wouldn’t think so. We’ll have to wait and see what they film in the days to come!

116 responses

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    1. Artemisia,

      I linked to his other photos in the article, but I only showcased the best one. And I didn’t mention any White Walkers or wights because we can’t actually see any, though they’re probably there. I’ll leave the speculation to you guys 😉

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    2. I just realized… we’ve never seen the Unsullied fight in a proper battle on the show yet, only offscreen ones and a few small-scale fights.

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    3. There are two trebuchets on the left side of the photos.

      And we really can’t make out the costumes, so those people being Unsullied is speculation.

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    4. BeardedOnion,

      Huh. That’s right! Interesting… The most we saw was in 3×04 and 5×04, I guess.

      I wonder if we’ll see them battle properly this time. Last chance!

      joojenbro,

      Good eyes. I thought people were confusing the crane with trebuchets. Still, they aren’t inside the set, so I’ll bring attention to them when they’re used.

      And those guys have the classic Unsullied silhouette, with their spears and armor. It’s not clear, but they don’t look like Northmen, who carry larger shields with their spears, or wildlings (who we’ve seen with spears too.)

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    5. I think you would have to chain Arya in the dungeons to keep her out of the battle of Winterfell! This is her life ambition to be a real soldier.

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    6. The cranes are clear to see in both sets of photos- what’s not clear is the large prop with a long horizontal arm at the right of the photos.

      Could indeed be a crane/raising platform or a trebuchet type device.. there seems to be a couple of chains with possibly a sling attached. But hard to make out.

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    7. I am picturing rank upon rank of stoic underdressed Unsullied standing ramrod-straight in the Northern cold…until one finally keels over, frozen solid, striking the next one. And down they all go like dominos: bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk…

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    8. Hodors Bastard: I fear the cockless shall soon be mindless.

      heh, I initially read that as “cockles” and thought “duh, clams don’t have brains: you should know that!”

      But, yeah, I suspect that we’ll see some Unsullied and Dothraki wights before it’s all said and done.

      Still, let’s get to the important point: somebody buy me that outfit for next Yule. It looks like it would be a literal and figurative kick-ass winter ensemble.

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    9. Two races of mutilated soldier slaves programmed to kill.

      I sense an unexpected alliance in S8.

      Plus, perhaps a NK-GW bromance. They do have the same sense of humor.

      • Semi off-topic: Any wagers who’ll be the first known character to get wightened? My money had been on DouchebagFinger but I doubt there’s anything left to reanimate. Sansa probably used his corpse for puppy chow in the WF kennels. (As Ramsay observed, why waste good meat?)

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    10. Charlie Stark,

      Luka Nieto,

      True, she could be anywhere. I hope they let her blind fighting be an advantage in the conditions. Certainly that Instagram picture is worth a thousand words.

      Colin Armfield:
      I think you would have to chain Arya in the dungeons to keep her out of the battle of Winterfell! This is her life ambition to be a real soldier.

      Exactly. Though I hope she does MOST of her fighting with bow and arrow on the walls. But when the walls are breached, a Needle in time saves nine, not to mention a Catspaw. Am I right in thinking that Maisie said somewhere that she was taking combat training?

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    11. Arya needs to be included in the fighting, and dominantly kick ass doing it too. Her entire storyline has been fighting and becoming a fighter. When it’s time to fight she shouldn’t be hiding with Sansa and the women.

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    12. Colin Armfield:
      I think you would have to chain Arya in the dungeons to keep her out of the battle of Winterfell! This is her life ambition to be a real soldier.

      • I like how you think! And (with apologies to Wimsey if I misstate this) I might add that you don’t give a ninja warrior princess a Chekhov’s VS dagger in S7 unless she’s going to “fire” it in S8.

      • Question for book readers: Do you think the showrunners might pay homage to (what I believe was) the “Knight of the Laughing Tree” tale from the books in which Lyanna Stark supposedly dressed up as a mystery knight? Because I could definitely see Arya going into battle incognito.

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    13. Clob:
      Arya needs to be included in the fighting, and dominantly kick ass doing it too.Her entire storyline has been fighting and becoming a fighter.When it’s time to fight she shouldn’t be hiding with Sansa and the women.

      Aryas life dream is to be a proper warrior.
      There is no way she is going to miss the battle of Winterfell unless she suddenly goes somewhere else. (Unlikely IMHO!)
      She also has a very old Valeryan steel dagger. That is a huge plot point, not just for slitting Littlefingers throat.

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    14. Ten Bears: •

      1. Semi off-topic: Any wagers who’ll be the first known character to get wightened?

      2. Question for book readers: Do you think the showrunners might pay homage to (what I believe was) the “Knight of the Laughing Tree” tale from the books in which Lyanna Stark supposedly dressed up as a mystery knight? Because I could definitely see Arya going into battle incognito

      1. My money is on Hodor definitely making an appearance. Podrick is a contender. Whoever does come back as a wight will more than likely face their on screen companion, for full dramatic impact- so I’d say Brienne will cross paths with Pod and Bran with Hodor.

      2. Possibly.. a pet theory of mine has been that Arya will try and get to the NK by wearing a wight face or a WW face (haven’t figured out how yet though). And Jon unwittingly kills her.

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    15. Trebuchets are siege weapons are they not? I’m intrigued about those more than anything in these pictures and about what they imply. Surely the NK wouldn’t be able to build siege weapons (also, with Viserion, he won’t be needing them), so does this mean that they’ve been wheeled out of Winterfell for a battle in the open with the NK? But why would they have movable trebuchets? You’d imagine they’d be stationary on the walls (like they use to defend Minas Tirith in LOTR) if they were used for defence. Possibly they built them upon hearing the NK was on his way and as well as being able to use them against the army of the dead, they are hoping they’ll knock a NK out of the sky (I can imagine Sansa having strong ideas about how to defend Winterfell in Jon’s absence).

      I am waaaaaay overthinking this and this is possibly total tinfoil, but are we sure this is a battle with the NK and not with the golden company? To me, it makes more sense for trebuchets to be involved if a mortal army is laying siege to the castle. Though the nightshoots obviously imply something more menacing and supernatural, so it likely is the NK.

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    16. Apollo: . Possibly.. a pet theory of mine has been that Arya will try and get to the NK by wearing a wight face or a WW face (haven’t figured out how yet though). And Jon unwittingly kills her.

      I’m not sure it would work with a WW since they appear to shatter into icey dust every time they’re killed… so no face to use. Sticking on a rotting face of a wight would be gross. 😛 They could do it on the show if they want but don’t know that it would follow book rules with it not being ‘harvested’ and prepped immediately after death. Some of those wight bodies could be hundreds of years old. Imagine the horrors she would see in her dreams wearing one of those. (That’s a book thing for those that haven’t read; experiencing dreams and thoughts of the person the face belonged to).

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    17. Clob:
      Arya needs to be included in the fighting, and dominantly kick ass doing it too.Her entire storyline has been fighting and becoming a fighter.When it’s time to fight she shouldn’t be hiding with Sansa and the women.

      I doubt Sansa will be “hiding” and doing nothing. Pretty much half the main cast can’t fight or can’t fight for shit, IE Davos, Tyrion, Bran, Varys, Missiendi, Jaime (probably) and Sam to name a few. She’s the leader of Winterfell so I suspect she’ll have a large role in leading the defense and civilian side of things. I want everyone to be badass, it gets boring just watching the fighters do cool stuff.

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    18. Clob,

      Indeed… like I said, it’s only a pet theory and I hadn’t figured out how she’d be able to prize a WW face off intact.

      I’m loving that we have no leaks (at this point), so the speculation is fun 😝

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    19. BeardedOnion,

      Well, maybe, but it would be a little silly for Sansa to be doing anything in the way of fighting. She can do her brave-face thing and assist the non-fighters in the ‘back.’ Arya doesn’t belong in that group.

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    20. Clob: for Sansa to be doing anything in the way of fighting. She can do her brave-face thing and assist the non-fighters in the ‘back.’ Arya doesn’t belong in that group.

      As long as both groups are equally important I’ll be happy. Like I said it’ll be shitty if one of the biggest moments in the series is just there to glorify the fighters, we have too much of that already. If anyone should be dominating kicking ass, it should be Sam, Bran and Jon since this is their arcs reaching it’s climax and two of those guys have no business being anywhere near the battlefield so I suspect the group in the back will be really damn important.

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    21. Chilli:
      Apollo,
      Wight Hodor returning to Winterfell and kill Bran near the end would be poetic justice.

      If he showed up I’d rather see Bran be able to break in and cut off the NK’s grasp on him and give Hodor rest.

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    22. Ten Bears:

      • Semi off-topic: Any wagers who’ll be the first known character to get wightened?

      Geographically, I would say the likeliest is one of Tormund, Beric and Edd. We also have Edd’s line from The Mountain and the Viper, not long before the Battle of Castle Black, about the last one of them to die burning the rest of them because when he dies, Edd doesn’t want to come back.

      I have to say, I am dreading seeing known characters turn into wights. Karsi was bad enough, and we’d only known her for one episode! Seeing undead Viserion was also awful.

      Ten Bears:

      • Question for book readers: Do you think the showrunners might pay homage to (what I believe was) the “Knight of the Laughing Tree” tale from the books in which Lyanna Stark supposedly dressed up as a mystery knight? Because I could definitely see Arya going into battle incognito.

      I love the idea of this. I think Arya would be conflicted between wanting to fight and the way she looks up to Jon (who I think would want to keep her out of the fighting not because she is a girl, or he thinks she isn’t capable, but because he loves her too much to want her on the frontlines).

      I do hope they somehow manage to work in how like Lyanna she is. Ned telling Arya she reminded him of her aunt was something they skipped out on in season one, but now we’ve met Lyanna, it would be great to see some sort of comparison between the two (even if it is just Bran remarking that they are/look alike).

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    23. Ten Bears: •
      2. Question for book readers: Do you think the showrunners might pay homage to (what I believe was) the “Knight of the Laughing Tree” tale from the books in which Lyanna Stark supposedly dressed up as a mystery knight? Because I could definitely see Arya going into battle incognito

      Bit of a straight copy from LOTR and the story of Éowyn.
      I would hope for a bit better than copying that.

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    24. BeardedOnion: As long as both groups are equally important I’ll be happy. Like I said it’ll be shitty if one of the biggest moments in the series is just there to glorify the fighters, we have too much of that already. If anyone should be dominating kicking ass, it should be Sam, Bran and Jon since this is their arcs reaching it’s climax and two of those guys have no business being anywhere near the battlefield so I suspect the group in the back will be really damn important.

      In epic storytelling, it’s rare for the camp supporters to be featured. It’s the Warriors, who put their lives on the line and eliminate the threat, who get the spotlight. Since the Great War is an existential threat with no home front or safety for non-combatants, anybody who can contribute must, but they will not be given equal weight. Sansa may or may not be active (she calmed down nervous ladies in 2.09), but Arya must be. Since the very first episode she’s continuously trained to be a Warrior (assassin school was a valuable detour), and this is her chance. Crucially, she has a unique combination of skills that might make a difference: archery + swordwork + quarterstaff fighting + blind fighting. Add to that her mysterious and possibly magical Valyrian steel dagger, and the Allies might lose without her. You might take comfort in the fact that this story also has intellectual/spiritual combatants (Bran and Sam), who will both be pivotal and will merit considerable screentime.

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    25. Che,

      This time I concur. The party in the photos looks like an attacking squad moving siege engines towards some fortification. That’s why I highly doubt that these are the Unsullied. Unless there is some crazy twist, the Unsullied should be defending Winterfell: we have seen piles of their bodies by it’s walls – most probably, dragged down by the attacking wights. Therefore, I think that these are not the Unsullied: could be the Golden Company (+ Ironborn). That would line up with the skirmish at the Winterfell gate reported about a month ago (a few days before Winterfell was “burned”). In my theory, there should be two sieges of Winterfell: one by the Night King (which will fail) and one by Euron (whch may succeed). In Ep 707 Euron looked all too interested in Dany (also he said that they should be the last two people standing) and it looks like a foreshadowing that there will be some encounted between them next season. One of the possibilities is that Jon goes to defend King’s Landing from the Night King leaving Dany at Witherfell and Euron attacks the castle trying to get her. Theon then might save the day.

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    26. Colin Armfield: Ten Bears: •
      2. Question for book readers: Do you think the showrunners might pay homage to (what I believe was) the “Knight of the Laughing Tree” tale from the books in which Lyanna Stark supposedly dressed up as a mystery knight? Because I could definitely see Arya going into battle incognito

      Bit of a straight copy from LOTR and the story of Éowyn.
      I would hope for a bit better than copying that.

      Not only that, but we already had this sort of reveal in Season 2 – when Brienne lifted her visor after besting Loras and the rest of the “knights of summer” in Renly’s tourney melee. One might argue that this scene was foreshadowing, but I’m inclined to think that Arya would be more effective fighting unencumbered by plate armor and using darkness and stealth instead.

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    27. BeardedOnion,

      I genuinely resent the prospect of the show coming down to a load of superficial nonsense where every man and his dog is a “badass”.

      I wince any time people start musing on how they want to see this character or that character performing miracles on the battlefield.

      I hope that’s not the way they go.

      In the Battle of the Bastards, they could’ve had Wun Wun beating the Boltons single-handedly or had the Wildlings’ miraculous deadshot archery powers win the day.

      Aside from Jon’s hero moment in front of the cavalry they made it more raw and realistic. Same with Hardhome.

      And even during the Loot Train Attack, they had Jaime’s life saved by Dickon. They had Bronn running for his life. They had Lannister soldiers and Dothraki all fighting and dying in relatively raw and realistic fashions.

      That’s where they went wrong in Beyond the Wall, where they had all our heroes in a circle killing hundreds of wights one after the other as they marched up to them in single file. Even when Tormund appears to be overwhelmed… oops… here comes The Hound to save the day.

      I want to see people fighting for their lives. Proper, tense, backs to the wall stuff. Which, if the wall is Winterfell, naturally means that Sansa, Bran, Sam, Gilly etc. will have to be involved.

      I want the focus to be on the threat they all face and how they all deal with it – the entire battle.

      Not on individual heroes chopping down wights like blades of grass, while Dothraki/Unsullied/Northern red shirts die all around them, and Arya leaps around the battlefield like Legolas.

      No, thank you!

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    28. Apollo:
      Clob,

      He might even use Hodor to restrain the NK, who I think meets his end at WFs weirwood.

      Perhaps ‘restrain’ in a very literal sense: pinning him down while Jon or someone else extracts the dragonglass shard from his heart, presuming that’s the way to ‘unplug’ the AotD.

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    29. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      BeardedOnion,

      I genuinely resent the prospect of the show coming down to a load of superficial nonsense where every man and his dog is a “badass”.

      I wince any time people start musing on how they want to see this character or that character performing miracles on the battlefield.

      I hope that’s not the way they go.

      In the Battle of the Bastards, they could’ve had Wun Wun beating the Boltons single-handedly or had the Wildlings’ miraculous deadshot archery powers win the day.

      Aside from Jon’s hero moment in front of the cavalry they made it more raw and realistic. Same with Hardhome.

      And even during the Loot Train Attack, they had Jaime’s life saved by Dickon. They had Bronn running for his life. They had Lannister soldiers and Dothraki all fighting and dying in relatively raw and realistic fashions.

      That’s where they went wrong in Beyond the Wall, where they had all our heroes in a circle killing hundreds of wights one after the other as they marched up to them in single file. Even when Tormund appears to be overwhelmed… oops… here comes The Hound to save the day.

      I want to see people fighting for their lives. Proper, tense, backs to the wall stuff. Which, if the wall is Winterfell, naturally means that Sansa, Bran, Sam, Gilly etc. will have to be involved.

      I want the focus to be on the threat they all face and how they all deal with it – the entire battle.

      Not on individual heroes chopping down wights like blades of grass, while Dothraki/Unsullied/Northern red shirts die all around them, and Arya leaps around the battlefield like Legolas.

      No, thank you!

      I want them to go Hardhome route where the undead are simply too overwhelming to fight conventionally.

      I guess I should clarify that by badass, I don’t mean badass fight scenes, I mean characters being scared shitless but overcoming it and finding some way to overcome it.

      People may want Arya to be this super badass warrior but the tone will be fucked if she just effortlessly kills the WW one by one, that’s not the tone I want either. I want characters slaughtered left, right and center, I want people shitting themselves in fear, I want the badass moments to come from acting brave and looking out for each other in the face of terrifying slaughter.

      That’s why I feel the brains of the group will be very important. Fighting hordes of the undead should be suicidal and require wits. Leaders should be far more important than individual soldiers.

      But I think we are in safe hands. We got the best director we could ask for at the helm of the fights.

      For what it’s worth, I think Sam is the most badass character on the whole show despite being a heap of shit in a fight.

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    30. One good thing about being Unsullied: not having to worry about freezing one’s cobblers off in the North.

      I’ll show myself out.

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    31. Firannion,

      Ah, you’re right. After Brienne’s visor-lifting reveal in Camp Renly, Arya concealing her identity to go into battle would be redundant. (Isn’t it great there are so many smart people that contribute to this site? I can’t begin to count the rabbit holes I’ve avoided burrowing down thanks to the collective wisdom of WoW commenters.)

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    32. Firannion,

      How about this little bit of wishful thinking Hollywood cliche fan fiction then?

      S8e1, Jon rides ahead of entourage traveling from White Harbor to Winterfell. He’s pleased to see Northerners of all ages practicing sword fighting and other martial skills in the courtyard, and notices a diminutive fighter holding five seasoned soldiers at bay Arthur Dayne-style with what looks like a rapier and flashing dagger, but there moving so fast it’s all a blur. One by one, the five flustered combatants start to cry out “I yield.”

      Jon dismounts from his horse and commends the fighter: “Impressive!” The fighter responds, “Shut up”, before turning around to face him.,,

      OK. Sorry everyone. I had a “juvenile day” today, putting Arya and Jon Snow stamps on letters to friends.

      PS I sure hope the actors get a cut of the proceeds of the sale of GoT stamps with their images on them.

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    33. BeardedOnion,

      Sure, I know what you meant by your use of badass. And I agree totally.

      I have no real interest in the novelty factors, like seeing Brienne and The Hound fighting together, or the Dothraki doing ‘cool’ things, and so on. You know, the moments that would get Youtube reactors squealing.

      This isn’t Avengers: Infinity War.

      I expect grit and realism and a real sense of impending doom. And I want to see everybody dealing with it in the various different ways that it would really take to win/survive wars and battles like this. Bravery, fear, sacrifice, cowardice, triumphs and losses, tragedy, hard graft… the whole spectrum.

      It’s the overall spectacle that matters to me, not any Hollywood heroics on the battlefield.

      I mean, I loved watching Jon in that long take on the battlefield during BotB, but in Season 8 we could potentially have Jon, Dany, Jaime, Brienne, The Hound, Arya, Jorah, Grey Worm, Tormund and a bunch more supporting characters on the battlefield alone. Following individuals in hero mode isn’t going to work in Season 8’s battles.

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    34. Apollo,
      Clob,

      If Arya needs to use a face to get close to the NK, I have a tin-foil theory it will unfortunately be Bran’s face. There is some subtle foreshadowing for this when Bran hands her the dagger, possibly indicating that she will have to make a very difficult choice at some point. We’ve also seen that the NK seems to be interested in or after Bran for some reason. It would also be a tragic twist on the skills she’s acquired to get revenge for her family now being used to kill a member of her own family.

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    35. BeardedOnion,

      “For what it’s worth, I think Sam is the most badass character on the whole show despite being a heap of shit in a fight.”
      —————————-
      He’s a weapons-grade scientist though; probably the most valuable ssset especially since Bran, for all his powers. is such a goof ball.

      And though Sam may be just a notch above Robyn Arryn in a fight. he’s showed real courage, eg getting the sh*t kicked out of him to protect Gilly from those two NW would-be rapists; killing a damn White Walker; and (I think?) killing a Then.

      Wasn’t it Ned who once said something like the only time a man can truly be courageous is when he’s scared? Or something like that.

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    36. Enharmony1625,

      Oh, don’t! You could be right.. I can’t even 😱

      One things for sure.. S8 is gonna rip our hearts out, and we don’t need 657 inane interviews from the cast (S8 is bittersweet/shocking/phenomenal/controversial) 😴 to tell us that.

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    37. Enharmony1625,

      “… a tragic twist on the skills she’s acquired to get revenge for her family now being used to kill a member of her own family.”

      … then she really has to be No One…!

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    38. Ten Bears: . he’s showed real courage, eg getting the sh*t kicked out of him to protect Gilly from those two NW would-be rapists; killing a damn White Walker; and (I think?) killing a Then.

      I love Show Sam so much. I can’t stand Book Sam even if I feel sorry for him. Show Sam is the shit and now he knows it now.

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    39. cos alpha,

      I think this would be the catalyst that sends her sailing West in the end. Home would be gone to her, and the only chance she would have at finding any contentment in life would be to abandon her identity as Arya and start anew. Ugh, that would be heartbreaking..

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    40. Apollo:
      Clob,

      Indeed… like I said, it’s only a pet theory and I hadn’t figured out how she’d be able to prize a WW face off intact.

      ________________

      If Arya’s still got Walder’s face in her suitcase, I’m sure it’s pretty ripe by now and looks just like a WW. Maybe with a little bleach and talcum powder…

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    41. Ten Bears:

      Jon dismounts from his horse and commends the fighter: “Impressive!” The fighter responds, “Shut up”, before turning around to face him.,,

      OK. Sorry everyone. I had a “juvenile day” today, putting Arya and Jon Snow stamps on letters to friends.

      I share your wishful thinking, TB. And your description of Sam as a weapons-grade scientist is spot-on. Rest assured, Arya and Jon Snow have put their own stamps on all of us!

      cos alpha:
      Enharmony1625,

      “… a tragic twist on the skills she’s acquired to get revenge for her family now being used to kill a member of her own family.”

      … then she really has to be No One…!

      Yes, indeed. We can infer from his question to Littlefinger that Bran knew The Dagger’s history AND potency. He smiled to see his sister, knowing that at the crossroads she had made the unexpected but right decision. And since he had watched his family, he must have known she was a FM who could somehow switch between Arya and No One as needed. But to do the truly hard tasks, she has had to become No One. And No One is probably the strongest person Bran knows. After saying “A very wealthy man wanted me dead”, he handed Catspaw to her with a significant look and quickly withdrew his hand. Tinfoil: It seemed to me that he was resigned to fate, not just Littlefinger’s, but his own. I honestly think he knew he had to die and chose Arya to kill him, mainly because in the guise of No One, it wouldn’t devastate her as much as it would have devastated Jon. And after the wars, Arya could recover.

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    42. Yes, that would be heartbreaking – but I like the idea.
      Arya’s arc, I think, is not to be involved into battle and big fights and so on. She’s a specialist in killing, not a warrior (neither a murderer), and so her arc should lead her to a special role/task.
      In her special subject she has learned to act quick and clean, being No One in that moment, without any apparent emontions.
      It could help her, to kill Bran (in my imagination Bran orders her to kill him) and to take his face…

      But… what if… wouldn’t NK realise, that she isn’t the real Bran? And what about Bran’s Warg-ability?
      Questions, nothing but questions…

      (And, by the way, what about Ghost?)

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    43. Clob: I’m not sure it would work with a WW since they appear to shatter into icey dust every time they’re killed… so no face to use. Sticking on a rotting face of a wight would be gross. 😛 They could do it on the show if they want but don’t know that it would follow book rules with it not being ‘harvested’ and prepped immediately after death.

      Yeah, that’s a significant pothole in any infiltration attempt. I’ve always wondered if it would be possible to infiltrate the NK’s pyramid scheme by compromising a wight then a WW then the NK himself. But the “death by shatter” sort of ruins that approach. Still, I wonder if there is a way to “glamour” a wight to get to its parent WW or the NK.

      Enharmony1625: I have a tin-foil theory it will unfortunately be Bran’s face. There is some subtle foreshadowing for this when Bran hands her the dagger, possibly indicating that she will have to make a very difficult choice at some point. We’ve also seen that the NK seems to be interested in or after Bran for some reason.

      Interesting and troubling idea. Much pondering ahead. Maybe Bran will suggest that idea to Arya since he can warg into another temporarily (or permanently)? Maybe this is Ghost’s ultimate purpose (to harbor Bran’s spirit)?

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    44. cos alpha:

      But… what if… wouldn’t NK realise, that she isn’t the real Bran? And what about Bran’s Warg-ability?
      Questions, nothing but questions…

      Good question, and one I thought about as well. I suppose it would depend on how strong the Faceless Men’s magic is, and I think we can assume it’s pretty powerful given that the bearer experiences the memories of the persons’s face they are wearing. Arya also mentions this when she confronts Sansa by saying “..I can speak in their voice; live in their skin.” But the NK’s magic is very powerful as well, so it’s definitely conceivable that he could see through it. Maybe he would need to use his Greensight in order to do so though, and this is something he would not be expecting.

      Questions, indeed. 🙂

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    45. Hodors Bastard:
      Interesting and troubling idea. Much pondering ahead. Maybe Bran will suggest that idea to Arya since he can warg into another temporarily (or permanently)? Maybe this is Ghost’s ultimate purpose (to harbor Bran’s spirit)?

      Ah, interesting thought about Bran saving his spirit by warging into Ghost. And by ensuring Arya that his spirit will live on in Ghost (or Nymeria?), this might convince her to go through with it.

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    46. Enharmony1625:

      I think this would be the catalyst that sends her sailing West in the end. Home would be gone to her, and the only chance she would have at finding any contentment in life would be to abandon her identity as Arya and start anew. Ugh, that would be heartbreaking..

      Blast! I hit “Post Comment” right before I saw this. You may well be right, but as I said, I think Bran has actually chosen her because she alone has an alter ego–No One–who can harden herself to do what is necessary. After the wars, the real, tender-hearted Arya would be able to heal. If Sansa leaves or doesn’t survive, Arya would probably rebuild and rule Winterfell. But if she has to sail west to heal, so be it. When Arya described that desire to Lady Crane, she was optimistic, curious, and almost visionary. She may have been inspired by her ancestor, Brandon the Shipwright, who crossed the Sunset Sea (but never returned). Who knows? She might even take a fleet of refugees with her (a la Queen Nymeria). It might parallel the final scene of Ep 4.10, when she looked behind and then ran forward to the prow as the ship took her to new possibilities in Braavos. That image struck the tone I’d expect in her final scene in the series because the promise of an epic adventure seems quite in keeping with her overall character arc.

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    47. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      That’s an interesting observation about Arya using No One to insulate herself somewhat from the trauma of having to kill Bran and wear his face. It lends even more weight to her training as a Faceless Man and becoming No One. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want her to stay in Winterfell and be Arya at the end of all this, but I can totally accept her sailing West in search of new adventures.

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    48. I would love to see Arya sail west of Westeros. I remember being very taken with Maisie’s acting in that scene with Lady Crane. Her eyes lit up and you saw a peek of the young girl she had once been before all of the terribad stuff happened to her family. Her going off in search of adventure has already been lightly telegraphed by her ending scene in s4 I believe when she set sail for Essos. I love that kind of adventurous spirit in her.

      I think all four remaining Stark kids have different paths and destinies post-war.

      Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      BeardedOnion,

      I genuinely resent the prospect of the show coming down to a load of superficial nonsense where every man and his dog is a “badass”.

      I wince any time people start musing on how they want to see this character or that character performing miracles on the battlefield.

      I hope that’s not the way they go.

      In the Battle of the Bastards, they could’ve had Wun Wun beating the Boltons single-handedly or had the Wildlings’ miraculous deadshot archery powers win the day.

      Aside from Jon’s hero moment in front of the cavalry they made it more raw and realistic. Same with Hardhome.

      And even during the Loot Train Attack, they had Jaime’s life saved by Dickon. They had Bronn running for his life. They had Lannister soldiers and Dothraki all fighting and dying in relatively raw and realistic fashions.

      That’s where they went wrong in Beyond the Wall, where they had all our heroes in a circle killing hundreds of wights one after the other as they marched up to them in single file. Even when Tormund appears to be overwhelmed… oops… here comes The Hound to save the day.

      I want to see people fighting for their lives. Proper, tense, backs to the wall stuff. Which, if the wall is Winterfell, naturally means that Sansa, Bran, Sam, Gilly etc. will have to be involved.

      I want the focus to be on the threat they all face and how they all deal with it – the entire battle.

      Not on individual heroes chopping down wights like blades of grass, while Dothraki/Unsullied/Northern red shirts die all around them, and Arya leaps around the battlefield like Legolas.

      No, thank you!

      I agree wholeheartedly. The stakes have to be high for ALL of the characters involved in these wars to come. I fully expect for people like Sam, Sansa, Missandei, Gilly and the other non-combatants to be assisting in evacuation of Winterfell through the crypts, tending to the injured and having to deal with any other threats that breach WF’s gate.

      Those who can wield a sword or who can control dragons will have their obvious part to play but those who can’t will also have a significant role to play.

      And in a lot of ways those people who represent a lot of us in the audience are even braver in my eyes since they can’t fight physically but will fight in their own ways.

      So yes bring on an ALL HANDS ON DECK situation.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Inga,

      possible…but i dont think Euron will live enough in S8..He will be killed by the NK or Theon in S8..Still im afraid that he will cause chaos in S8 and try to be king by killing Cercei and takes the GC for himself..Also what told Euron to Danny foreshadows that Danny might live at the end of the war..and will is to Dragonstone giving birth to her baby.

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    50. Mia:
      “I would love to see Arya sail west of Westeros. I remember being very taken with Maisie’s acting in that scene with Lady Crane. Her eyes lit up and you saw a peek of the young girl she had once been before all of the terribad stuff happened to her family. Her going off in search of adventure has already been lightly telegraphed by her ending scene in s4 I believe when she set sail for Essos. I love that kind of adventurous spirit in her…”

      ________________

      I also liked the acting of both Maisie Williams and Essie Davis in that scene with Arya and Lady Crane. Years from now, I think people are going to look back and really appreciate how good Essie Davis was as faux Cersei in the Braavos play, and how well the actresses played off each other – as if their characters had some kind of instant kinship or something. Hard to explain…

      That immediate connection was there in the initial meeting between Lady Crane and “Mercy” (Arya) in S6e6:

      (Lady Crane spots Arya backstage)

      Lady Crane: “Girl! What are you doing back here?”

      Arya: “Nothing.”

      LC: “I saw you the other day in the audience. How many times have you seen this stupid play?”

      Arya: “Three times.”

      LC: “Did you pay?”

      Arya: “No.”

      LC: “I remember when the players came to my village. I didn’t have any money, so I snuck in.
      Just like you. Saw the painted faces, the costumes, listened to the songs, cried when the young lovers died in each other’s arms. I ran off and joined them the next day. Never looked back.”

      Arya: “You’re very good.”

      LC: “My final speech is sh*t.” But to be fair to myself, which I always like to be, the writing’s no good.”

      Arya: “So change it. It would all just be far*ing, belching, and slapping without you.”

      LC: “How would you change it?”

      Arya: “The queen loves her son more than anything. And he was taken from her before she could say goodbye. She wouldn’t just cry. She would be angry. She would want to kill the person who did this to her.”

      LC: “What’s your name?”

      Arya: “Mercy.”

      LC: “You have very expressive eyes, Mercy. Wonderful eyebrows. Do you like pretending to be other people?

      Arya: “I have to go. My father’s waiting for me.”

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    51. Arya wearing another face has to be part of the end game. It has been too big a plot point to let go.
      Just can.t figure out who.
      One thing that I wonder about.
      Does no one comment on dead bodies with their faces removed lying about?
      We know to Walder Frey and presumably the serving girl.

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    52. Mia,

      Ten Bears,

      Arya is both herself AND No One –Jaqen and she sort of agreed on that. But I never knew how she could switch back and forth. Book Arya could probably do it by some kind of warging manoeuvre. You two may have hinted at a show answer: method acting. She’s always pretended to be someone else to protect her identity, sometimes taking on manners and speech habits unlike her own (more so in the books). But Lady Crane is her pivotal moment. She asks Arya if she she likes to pretend, says she has expressive eyes and would be good at it. Arya analyzes Cersei and rightly tells Lady C she needs to express more anger. Later, LC actually invites Arya to join the troupe before it moves on. Arya turns her down because she’d never remember the lines. Good-hearted Arya may have learned how to become No One the killer of overpowered opponents, by acting! Incidentally, if you watch her closely in Winterfell, she has a different walk, voice, stance etc when she is No One. But when she’s not on the job (example–going after Littlefinger) she’s more recognizably Arya. ****As I wrote that, I suddenly recalled that her chapter in Winds of Winter shows her being an actress in a troupe and killing someone****.

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    53. Colin Armfield,

      “…One thing that I wonder about.
      Does no one comment on dead bodies with their faces removed lying about?”

      ———————

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who was wondering about that. I figure maybe Arya dumped Walder Frey’s body in a river or something. Otherwise, people would stumble upon his corpse, and notify the local sheriff or whoever is in charge of investigating suspicious deaths. (What would be the protocol? “Uh, Dispatch, we’ve got a Faceless Man in a dumpster behind the Twins…No, of course I can’t identify him. His face is gone and so are his clothes.”

      BTW, I’m convinced Arya did not kill the serving girl to steal her face. Arya does NOT kill innocents. Besides, in S6e10, right before he became a human Pez dispenser, Walder and the girl had this exchange (paraphrasing):

      Walder: “You’re not one of mine, are you?
      Girl: “No, my Lord.”
      Walder: “Didn’t think so.” (Smacks her ass.) “Too pretty.”

      Arya would’ve terminated a familiar Frey waitress if she was going to take on the safest disguise. I assume Walder thought the girl was with the Lannisters’ entourage.

      I have no doubt that the servicing girl’s face was included in the mask collection Arya ripped off from the House of Black & White on her way out.

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    54. Ten Bears: Two races of mutilated soldier slaves programmed to kill.

      That very probably will serve as a point in the story. Daenerys does have this thing about saving slaves, after all. And Jon has this thing about saving former enemies. Those are pretty big guns hanging on the wall at this point!

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    55. Arya is not a Warrior, she’s an assassin. She cannot physically hold her own in a pitched battle; her taking Brianne to a draw in mock combat involved the element of surprise. The Hound made it very clear to her that her little Needle is no threat to any actual warrior. (Let’s all recall that assassins are a sub-class of thieves, not fighters. Insert geek emoji here.)

      What she *can* do is escort Sam on his little Bran-briefed mission to obsidian-ectomy the Night’s King back into one of the First Men, ending that existential threat at a stroke. En route, the Night’s King’s immediate escort of protective White Walkers will each fall to the precise stroke of a trained assassin, wending the point of her Valerian Steel blade around the creature’s armor. We’ve seen the White Walkers under-estimate opponents, including Sam, in the past; who could possibly be easier to overlook than No One?

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    56. Ten Bears,

      I just assumed Arya disposed of Walder appropriately. Maybe she made more pies to serve to his kin. She hasn’t killed and harvested a face yet in the books to see what she does in them with those bodies.

      I don’t think we’re meant to wonder where she got the girl’s face and just go with it for the surprise reveal. Since they avoided telling that story we just have to make up our own if we want to. My story is that I too don’t think she killed for it, unless that person actually tried to kill her first for some reason. It seems rather unlikely that she stole or was allowed by Jaqen to take a pile of faces from the HoBaW when she left. Perhaps while traveling to The Twins Arya came across this girl gravely injured or recently killed.

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    57. Ten Bears,

      It amazes me how well you know the lines from the episodes? Do you have copies of the scripts or simply play the DVD’s and write down what is said? – Just curious 😉

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    58. Clob,

      Well, after that terminally ill girl whose father brought her to the HoBW for euthanasia drank from the poisoned well at Arya’s prompting, Arya borrowed that girl’s face to do some impromptu plastic surgery on Meryn F. Trant. And after the (disappointingly off screen) offing of The Waif, Arya risked going back to the HoBW. I assumed she went there to mount the Waif’s face on the trophy wall and to get Jaqen 2.0’s blessing to drop out of Murder U. without repercussions.

      However, maybe she also came back to grab a few faces off the display racks. It’s not like the FM can’t spare a few. I’ll have to go back and rewatch the scene in S7e6 when snooping Sansa finds Arya’s mask collection and asks her where she got them from.

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    59. Clob,

      Here are excerpts from Sansa’s confrontation with Arya in S7e6 after Sansa found Arya’s masks. Arya said she got them in Braavos during her FM training.:
      Sansa: “What are these?”
      Arya: “My faces.”
      Sansa: “Where did you get them?”
      Arya: “In Braavos, while I was training to be a Faceless Man.”
      Sansa: “What does that mean?”
      ****
      Sansa: “Those faces, what are they?”
      ***
      Sansa: “Tell me what they are! ”
      Arya: “…..With the faces I can choose. I can become someone else. Speak in their voice, live in their skin.”

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    60. Black Raven:
      Ten Bears,

      It amazes me how well you know the lines from the episodes? Do you have copies of the scripts or simply play the DVD’s and write down what is said?– Just curious 😉

      Ten Bears is amazing about sharing whole sections of dialogue. I don’t know his method, but I’ll often go to YouTube for isolated quotes to ensure they’re accurate. Memory is not reliable For example, I thought Bran had said, “A rich man tried to kill me.” The actual line is “A very wealthy man wanted me dead.” And that says so much more.

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    61. Black Raven,

      I rewatch favorite scenes with closed captioning. Most of the actors have such distinctive voices that I can “hear” them even with the volume muted.

      Sandor and Arya scenes are pretty much committed to memory now. On the other hand, I don’t think I recall a single word the High Sparrow said.

      There are episode transcripts online but they’re not always accurate and you often can’t tell who’s saying what.

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    62. Black Raven,

      One other thing: I’ve been proceeding under the assumption that the solutions to the show’s “mysteries” have to be embedded somewhere throughout the roughly 67 hours of episodes already aired. (You know, Chekhov’s hanging guns, Occam’s razor, rejecting deus ex machina, and the other Wimseyan principles we discuss.)

      That may be misguided on my part though I thought I had completely figured out how the show had set up the means for the Stark girls to ensnare Littlefinger. I was totally wrong. They didn’t even mention the crime for which he had no defense.

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    63. Ten Bears,

      But clearly Arya lied about at least Walder Frey.

      Also just being pedantic!
      Did she just give all the kitchen staff a day off while she butchered the Frey brothers and cooked them into pies?

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    64. She very likely killed them quickly, cut off a finger each, snuck into the kitchen and stuck them in a pie. It’s not like she went to the length of Hannibal Lector-ing them with fava beans and opera music.

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    65. I feel the tell for me is Night Shoots, we know there will be a battle at Winterfell which will be at night so this is most likely linked. I think I mentioned elsewhere that there was some separate shooting with unsullied away from the Winterfell set so it could be this green screen is an extension of that and they are massacred by the White Walkers who then move towards Winterfell.

      All conjecture on my part of course but I’d be surprised if the Unsullied and Dothraki are not heavily depleted in the North at the very least.

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    66. Chris:
      Danny’s army will get wiped out up north they fight in the heat

      Yep this is exactly what I am expecting, although fearless neither is well suited to the terrain and climate or faced an army like this. It will also add to the drama of over throwing Cersei if team Targ don’t have a huge army at the end..

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    67. As others have said,
      I think that both of Dannys armies will suffer tremendous losses.
      I think that any survivors will want to return to Esteros.

      Some time ago I saw a post where Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) commented that she had finished filming. She is probably not in any scene that needs a lot of post production.
      Does she die early? Or return home after the death of Grey worm and the Unsullied?

        Quote  Reply

    68. Interesting one, I’m assuming if Missandei does die (I’d guess it will happen around the same time as Grey Worm given their love interest) then it would surely happen during the battle at Winterfell and not before.

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    69. Ten Bears:
      Black Raven,

      One other thing: I’ve been proceeding under the assumption that the solutions to the show’s “mysteries” have to be embedded somewhere throughout the roughly 67 hours of episodes already aired. (You know, Chekhov’s hanging guns, Occam’s razor, rejecting deus ex machina, and the other Wimseyan principles we discuss.)

      That may be misguided on my part though I thought I had completely figured out how the show had set up the means for the Stark girls to ensnare Littlefinger. I was totally wrong. They didn’t even mention the crime for which he had no defense.

      “Wimseyan principles.” How apt! Wolfish had a few too (where is she?), you have some, ACME has some, many WotWers do. But I shall never ever think of Chekhov’s Gun again without thinking of Wimsey. About LF’s crime: because Starks and LF were under Guest Right, neither could harm the other. So a pretext was needed to bring him to trial. Arya deliberately told Sansa about being a Faceless Man, then handed her his Dagger. Once LF learned that he’d received the Death Glare from an actual FM, it was pretty much kill or be killed. By trying to influence Sansa into kinslaying, he nullified the Starks’ Guest Right obligation, allowing them to proceed to trial. In legal parlance, he was entrapped. But Bran produced much more spectacular, clear-cut, and serious crimes plus the ones Sansa herself had witnessed, so the Stark pretext for the trial was not even needed.

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    70. Ten Bears: Sansa: “Where did you get them?”
      Arya: “In Braavos, while I was training to be a Faceless Man.”

      I’d thought about that scene… Sansa only pulls out a unrecognizable male face and Walder’s face from the satchel. Each time I watched the scene I wondered where the serving girl’s face was. I figure we’re just suppose to assume there were more in there. With her dialogue I guess we’re also to believe she had gotten some faces in Braavos when it wasn’t shown that she had or really had much of an opportunity. It’s not something I’m all too hung up on though, since like I mentioned, I just create my own little stories of how she acquires any.

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    71. Jon Snowed,

      It would also impact Dany’s attitude and ambitions (if she’s still around).

      Losing the bulk of her army would compromise her ability to press her claim for the throne, potentially leading to greater compromise or perhaps greater volatility.

      If the Westerosi rallied behind Jon Snow after she’d sacrificed her army and advantage to save Westeros, how would she react?

      It could also impact her image among her own supporters if she leads thousands of devoted followers to slaughter in defence of those she supposedly came to conquer.

      What does happen if some of the Dothraki and Unsullied decide this isn’t what they signed up for? Would Daenerys give them a ship and let them sail home, as Missandei believes?

      The prospect of Dany’s army being wiped out is laden with potential consequences for the conclusion.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Apollo,

      If Missandei dies, I just hope they make sure to burn her body. I would hate to see her become a wight.

      Perhaps that’s why the Winterfell set was burned? The “good guys” will probably become overwhelmed during the Battle for Winterfell and will decide to burn their dead as a way of making sure they cannot become wights. It would also provide them with a temporary distraction to escape through the secret passages. Maybe Dany is the one to light it all up since she can survive fire. She’ll tell everyone to escape while she lights up the joint and then escapes herself through the fire or something.

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    73. Missandei is in my group of least likely to die. Yeah, she’s one of those that doesn’t really have a purpose within the timeline of the story so she’s an easy target. I just think her survival means more having been saved from a life of slavery to become a trusted companion and advisor to Daenerys. Whether or not her boyfriend survives I think she does.

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    74. Stark Raven’ Rad: Bran produced much more spectacular, clear-cut, and serious crimes plus the ones Sansa herself had witnessed, so the Stark pretext for the trial was not even needed.

      As neatly as this all worked out for the Starks, I must say that I’m glad to be living in a place and time when the testimony of a seer about his visions is not considered proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law!

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    75. Apollo: Missandei having any meaningful impact on the remaining story, so she’ll quite likely die early in the season.

      As I see it, Missandei’s primary function in the story is to ensure that the character of Dany is not exclusively male-identified and male-validated. Once Dany has bonded with some of the women in the Stark camp, Missandei’s presence will no longer be necessary to establishing her character as Not a Queen Bee Type.

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    76. Mr Derp: Perhaps that’s why the Winterfell set was burned? The “good guys” will probably become overwhelmed during the Battle for Winterfell and will decide to burn their dead as a way of making sure they cannot become wights. It would also provide them with a temporary distraction to escape through the secret passages. Maybe Dany is the one to light it all up since she can survive fire. She’ll tell everyone to escape while she lights up the joint and then escapes herself through the fire or something.

      This would be beyond-the-pale horrible to see, but what if the remains of the dead Stark ancestors and former Kings in the North starting bursting out of their crypts in response to the NK’s command? That could be the trigger for a cataclysmic decision to have Drogon torch Winterfell in its entirety – not only down to the ground, but well beneath. Talk about a Pyrrhic victory! I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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    77. Stark Raven' Rad: Arya is both herself AND No One –Jaqen and she sort of agreed on that.

      Nicely paralleling Jon’s speech to Theon about him being able to be both a Stark and a Greyjoy (possibly my favorite exchange in all of Season 7, rivaled only by Olenna/Jaime).

      I think you’re onto something re: Arya’s natural acting talent serving her mightily in her assassin sideline. I’m looking forward very much to the development of that theme in TWoW – hoping for more than just the one Mercy chapter that we’ve already seen.

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    78. Ten Bears: Firannion,

      How about this little bit of wishful thinking Hollywood cliche fan fiction then?

      S8e1, Jon rides ahead of entourage traveling from White Harbor to Winterfell. He’s pleased to see Northerners of all ages practicing sword fighting and other martial skills in the courtyard, and notices a diminutive fighter holding five seasoned soldiers at bay Arthur Dayne-style with what looks like a rapier and flashing dagger, but there moving so fast it’s all a blur. One by one, the five flustered combatants start to cry out “I yield.”

      Jon dismounts from his horse and commends the fighter: “Impressive!” The fighter responds, “Shut up”, before turning around to face him.,,

      OK. Sorry everyone. I had a “juvenile day” today, putting Arya and Jon Snow stamps on letters to friends.

      I don’t find this approach cheesy at all. Jon and Arya have to Meet Cute somehow when they’re finally reunited, or fandom will blow a gasket. Just having a replay of Jon and Sansa locking eyes across across the Winterfell courtyard and dashing (tentatively) into an embrace would be…been there, done that. I rather like the notion that Jon will not instantly recognize his little sister after all that she has been through, and will be impressed by her water-dancing skills even before he knows who she is.

      Her weapons-master pupils will have to be careful about saying ‘I yield,’ however. Those are loaded words for Arya. Being too keen on yielding was how her friend Lommy got himself killed.

      It probably would be cheesy for some student to ask her ‘What’s a Lommy?’ after she has lectured him about yielding too quickly. But I wouldn’t put it past D & D, after the Hound’s ‘I prefer chicken’ line.

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    79. Ten Bears,
      Firannion,

      I really love this idea too! I completely agree that their reunion needs to be unique in some way, reflecting their special relationship. And what better way than Arya showing off her skills using the sword Jon gave her?

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    80. Nathalie told Metro.co.uk that that the final table read was ‘so emotional’ before claiming that the final episode is ‘so great’ and will not leaves fans unsatisfied.

      ‘It definitely will not be rushed conclusion,’ she added, discussing fan concerns that the length of season seven and then season eight will affect the storytelling.

      http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/19/game-thrones-nathalie-emmanuel-promises-shows-ending-not-rushed-recalls-script-reading-7398349/

      Those are the kind of phrases I like to read from interviews.

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    81. Tensor the Mage, Whose Titanium-Plated Chrome Dome Makes Tinfoil Look Amateurish: What she *can* do is escort Sam on his little Bran-briefed mission to obsidian-ectomy the Night’s King back into one of the First Men, ending that existential threat at a stroke.

      Now there’s an interesting spin on the “unplugging” scenario that I for one hadn’t seen postulated before! Jon is the usual top candidate for the gig, though I’ve also seen persuasive arguments favoring Sandor, Jorah or Arya having to step in. But Sam? Mind blown. Perhaps calling him the Slayer really was much punchier foreshadowing than any of us anticipated. And we have seen him getting trained as a surgeon…

      I think I like this idea.

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    82. Enharmony1625:
      Ten Bears,
      Firannion,

      I really love this idea too! I completely agree that their reunion needs to be unique in some way, reflecting their special relationship. And what better way than Arya showing off her skills using the sword Jon gave her?

      I too think it needs something special. If I were D&D it would have been a point of great attention while writing.

      I already described my idea prior to last season when we were expecting or at least hoping there would be a reunion. In short, it had Jon being impressed watching a young man spar/fight and then finding out it’s Arya when she removes the face. This was before she threw the gathering as Walder though so that might be too overdone now. I had thought this “man” could have arrived with others to train at Winterfell so the viewer wouldn’t have expected it was Arya. The excuse for Arya to go in disguise would have been because she wanted to make sure WF really was under control of the Starks before walking in as Arya.

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    83. Clob,

      Base on what we have heard so far, it may top seasons four & six. bring this wonderful series to a fitting close.
      this is positive news, unlike last year when we didn’t hear much from the crew about how great season seven is; and we all saw how that turned out.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Surely Jon has to be the one to kill/un-obsidian the night king? Or Bran. Their storylines have become solely focused around the WW and there is a purposeful link with the NK for both of them. Anyone else ending his existence would seem random to me in terms of story arcs. I have no doubt other characters whose arcs have been centred around growing as a warrior or being a great fighter (Arya, Sandor, Brienne) will have important roles to play in the war (especially Arya with her valerian steel plot device dagger), but to actually kill the NK, I strongly feel that the story would make less sense if it weren’t Jon or Bran to be the ones to do it.

        Quote  Reply

    85. onedon,

      Huh? Last year all we heard from cast and crew was pretty much what we’ve heard this year: that the latest season is the biggest yet, will blow us away, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. Maybe you didn’t think it was, but we we all had very high expectations on the basis of those interviews (amongst others factors).

        Quote  Reply

    86. The night king was created by the Children with magic.
      I think Valyrian steel might play a part in killing Wights
      But Killing the Night King will need magic from the Three Eyed Raven
      Possibly finished off by Jon or Arya.
      The main part will involve Bran, that is what he is there for.

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    87. Apollo,
      Colin Armfield,
      Maybe my memory is not clear, but I remember there were talk about the difficulties in making season six, that it cost 100 million, and that it would be the best ever. and for me it is right up there with season four.
      For season seven; don’t remember the showrunners saying that it would be the best ever; but I thought it would top season six; for me, season seven ended being third best.
      Now I am hoping season eight finish as the best season.

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    88. Colin Armfield,

      Damn! Why is everyone thinking about different ways to kill my boy NK? You know, he wasn’t always the space alien-looking creature he is now.

      (If he could talk, I could picture him saying in Rodney Dangerfield’s voice: “No respect!””)

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    89. Firannion,

      “Now there’s an interesting spin on the “unplugging” scenario that I for one hadn’t seen postulated before! Jon is the usual top candidate for the gig, though I’ve also seen persuasive arguments favoring Sandor, Jorah or Arya having to step in. But Sam? Mind blown. Perhaps calling him the Slayer really was much punchier foreshadowing than any of us anticipated. And we have seen him getting trained as a surgeon…

      I think I like this idea.”
      —————–

      Why am I getting the strange idea that WoW commenters should’ve scripted S8?

        Quote  Reply

    90. Clob,

      I’m not hung up on it either. I am pretty sure the E5-E6 Sansa-Arya-LF storyline will not make any Top Ten writing lists.

      I had been hoping the sisters would hash out their differences by sharing their difficult experiences, including interactions with other characters at different times, eg:

      • Sansa: “Ser Meryn beat me and punched me in the stomach.”
      Arya: “Meryn F*cking Trant? He beat me and punched me in the stomach too.”
      Sansa: “I’m so sorry.”
      Arya: “Don’t be. I took care of that motherf*cker.”

      • Sansa: “I was almost gangraped and murdered in an alley during a riot in King’s Landing. But Sandor Clegane came back and saved me, told me “You’re alright Little Bird”, and hoisted me over his shoulder.” (audible sigh)
      Arya: “The Hound did that? He mentioned something about that but I thought he was lying.”
      Sansa: “Too bad you left him to die all alone in the middle of nowhere.”
      Arya: “I was confused. He really wasn’t the worst sh*t in the Seven Kingdoms.”
      Sansa: “Poor guy deserved some happiness before he died.”
      (Hugs and sniffles)

        Quote  Reply

    91. Colin Armfield,

      I think his death will involve the weirwood tree too. Possibly burning it with him tied to it. Fire, blood and ice.

      The NK is inextricably linked to the Old Gods. Hell, the WWs probably ARE the Old Gods.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Stark Raven' Rad,

      Your Arya/No One hybrid theory is brilliant! If the show deliberately intended to portray this, I wish they’d made it more explicit – or hired you as story editor. It explains a bunch of scenes that confounded me, or had me thinking to myself, “WTF? Arya would never talk this way or behave this way.”

      • Your reference to the pre-released “Mercy” chapter – one of the few snippets of the books I’ve read (along with the “Broken Man” speech; “Needle was Jon Snow’s smile” internal monologue; and “Harwin! You have to know me!” scene) got me reconsidering the way GRRM wrote it. I thought he had written the “Mercy” chapter

      from the point of view of theater troupe acolyte Mercedane to sort of obscure at first that it was really Arya who was the narrator – to set up the suspenseful conclusion when she has her prey recite back the words he used when killing Lommy. (I believe the show transplanted and adapted that device into Arya’s scene with Polliver in S4e1.)

      Anyway, now I’m thinking that Faceless Man school teaches its students to not just talk and behave like someone else, but to actually think and bethat other person. Perhaps that was GRRM’s intention.

      • Jaqen 2.0’s last conversation with Arya made no sense to me, i.e. [paraphrasing]:
      Arya: “You told her to kill me.”
      J2.0: “Yes. But there she is, and here you are. Finally, a girl is no one”
      Arya: “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell. And I’m going home.”

      Now I wonder if Jaqen felt that Arya, by coming back to the HoBW to staple the Waif’s face on the shelf, had honored the FM dispassionate credo that it doesn’t really matter who dies, as long as someone’s life is offered up to the Many-Faced God and another face added to the wall.
      Maybe J2.0 didn’t anticipate Arya’s reply, but he seemed cool (in his mind) with her being both No One and Arya Stark of WF.

      • Musing aloud about cutting off Sansa’s face
      and wearing it was something Arya would never do, if for no other reason than it would dishonor her father. But No One would clinically contemplate how it’d be to inhabit the persona of Sansa Stark, Lady of Winterfell.

      • However, the most compelling scene that bears out your sssessment was Arya’s reunion with Hot Pie in S7e2. At first, Arya was rude, and speared pie from Hot Pie’s tray and grabbed the ale pitcher without waiting for him to offer them; then she started wolfing down [pun intended] the pie and wiping her mouth on her sleeves like a barbarian. I had thought maybe she was channeling the Hound. When Hot Pie asked, “What happened to you, Arry?”, she just stared at him without answering. It wasn’t until Hot Pie told her that the Boltons were dead – Jon Snow came down from CB with an army of wildlings and won the BoB, and “he’s King in the North now”, that the “real” Arya returned, and her whole manner reverted back to the caring friend Hot Pie remembered. So maybe Arya was in “No One” killing mode on her way to whack Cersei, and switched back to human, caring Arya Stark when she learned she had a family and home to go back to. In any event. the change in personality during that one brief scene was striking.

      Finally, your approach would reconcile how Arya could go from psycho terrorist on one episode to loving sister in the next.

      “Very strange and annoying”: that’s one way of looking at it.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Apollo,

      I don’t know why but that last line about the WWs being the Old Gods sent a chill through my spine. That’s something I never even thought of till now.

      That’d be an interesting twist if true.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Ten Bears:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Your Arya/No One hybrid theory is brilliant! If the show deliberately intended to portray this, I wish they’d made it more explicit – or hired you as story editor. It explains a bunch of scenes that confounded me, or had me thinking to myself, “WTF? Arya would never talk this way or behave this way.”

      I think there is a good possibility the show will directly address this in S8 the more I think about it. I’ve always maintained that Arya’s unique set of skills (insert Taken joke here) will amount to more than just being effective in battle and crossing names of a list. I mean, this is GRRM we’re talking about here. 🙂 But I’d never thought about her using “No One” to do something that would otherwise be unimaginably traumatic. I really love that idea!

      And could the fact that No One was seemingly capable of harming Sansa be another bit of foreshadowing that No One will be capable of killing Bran should the need be desperate and dire enough? Ugh, the feels..

      Mia,

      It is a very fitting end for Arya to sail West, on to new adventures. What I think would be really amazing is if other people, who also will have either literally or figuratively lost their homes in the war, decide to follow her. There could be an element of foreshadowing for this when we saw Nymeria leading a pack of wolves in the wild for Arya to lead a group of people West of Westeros in search of a new beginning. Powerful stuff! Uplifting in one sense, but very bittersweet.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Ten Bears,

      Your Arya/No One hybrid theory is brilliant! If the show deliberately intended to portray this, I wish they’d made it more explicit – or hired you as story editor. It explains a bunch of scenes that confounded me, or had me thinking to myself, “WTF? Arya would never talk this way or behave this way.”

      Thank you, mate. And if I were story editor, I’d have you write the dialogue. You’re a dab hand with dialogue now and often come up with real zingers!

      Anyway, now I’m thinking that Faceless Man school teaches its students to not just talk and behave like someone else, but to actually think and bethat other person. Perhaps that was GRRM’s intention.

      That could well be. You recall Jaqen telling the Waif “A Girl has many gifts.”? I suspect in S2 he realised she was a natural at pretending, which is a real gift in that line of work. He knew she fooled Tywin. Arya catches on to method acting possibilities in her chats with Lady C. Soon she aborts the assassination and hides in that dark room with a candle and Needle (foreshadowing!) knowing the FM (Waif) would come after her. Next, No One makes her debut wearing a mannish tunic, having a mannish walk, and addressing the ship captain in a snide, confident manner that would attract attention. And it lures out the Waif!

      Now I wonder if Jaqen felt that Arya, by coming back to the HoBW to staple the Waif’s face on the shelf, had honored the FM dispassionate credo that it doesn’t really matter who dies, as long as someone’s life is offered up to the Many-Faced God and another face added to the wall. Maybe J2.0 didn’t anticipate Arya’s reply, but he seemed cool (in his mind) with her being both No One and Arya Stark of WF.

      He acts like she’s his star pupil, which she probably is. Most likely he expected her to defeat the Waif, but left the outcome in the hands of the MFG.

      • Musing aloud about cutting off Sansa’s face and wearing it was something Arya would never do, if for no other reason than it would dishonor her father. But No One would clinically contemplate how it’d be to inhabit the persona of Sansa Stark, Lady of Winterfell.

      Indeed. Arya had initiated the second hug in front of Ned’s statue, which probably sealed her acceptance of Sansa. Since being mean to her was a key part of her ruse against LF she became No One for the whole charade until Littlefinger was no more.

      • However, the most compelling scene that bears out your sssessment was Arya’s reunion with Hot Pie in S7e2. At first, Arya was rude, and speared pie from Hot Pie’s tray and grabbed the ale pitcher without waiting for him to offer them; then she started wolfing down [pun intended] the pie and wiping her mouth on her sleeves like a barbarian. I had thought maybe she was channeling the Hound. When Hot Pie asked, “What happened to you, Arry?”, she just stared at him without answering. It wasn’t until Hot Pie told her that the Boltons were dead – Jon Snow came down from CB with an army of wildlings and won the BoB, and “he’s King in the North now”, that the “real” Arya returned, and her whole manner reverted back to the caring friend Hot Pie remembered. So maybe Arya was in “No One” killing mode on her way to whack Cersei, and switched back to human, caring Arya Stark when she learned she had a family and home to go back to. In any event. the change in personality during that one brief scene was striking.

      Great catch! I think she was also starved. But yes–she turned from No One into Arya in a matter of seconds. And her pleading with Nymeria to come home showed it too.

      Finally, your approach would reconcile how Arya could go from psycho terrorist on one episode to loving sister in the next. “Very strange and annoying”: that’s one way of looking at it.

      And from loving sister (with Bran and Sansa) into No One in her next scene. At least Sansa also said “You’re the strongest person I know.”

        Quote  Reply

    96. Craster and his wives already eluded to it several times on the show (I’m a Godly man, get good with the Gods, a gift for the Gods etc), and if I recall correctly, there are more references in the books.

      The NK has some pretty God like powers and now we know that he has greensight as well, really confirmed this for me.

      Mia:
      Apollo,

      I don’t know why but that last line about the WWs being the Old Gods sent a chill through my spine. That’s something I never even thought of till now.

      That’d be an interesting twist if true.

        Quote  Reply

    97. To Craster and his abused brood, the WW *are* gods: supernatural entities, with power over the lands north of the Wall, who provide protection in return for (human) sacrifices.

      When Arya declares she believes in “the old gods and the new,” the former likely means the animist gods of river, hill, etc. — most definitely not the WW.

        Quote  Reply

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